Need a tried-and-true way to beat the Florida heat? Scoop up your kiddos and cool off with a frozen sweet treat! With so many mom-and-pop ice cream shops out there, grabbing a cone or a sundae is a great way to instantly boost your mood. Below are a few of our favorite ice cream shops (not in any particular order, though all are Lincoln-approved), along with a few classic favorites.
Mayday Ice Cream (San Marco, Jacksonville Beach)
Mayday Ice Cream originated in St. Augustine, Florida, and we were so delighted when they opened up a Jacksonville store where The Hyppo used to be located in San Marco. Even better? Check out their brand-new store located in Jacksonville Beach (1198 Beach Boulevard)! Our team editor, Tina Peckham, recently went there with her kiddos, and they all loved it! This place is heavenly and such a treat for any ice cream lover. All of the waffle cones are made fresh in-house! I have yet to try all of their 24+ flavors, but my favorite ones, for now, are: Strawberry Fields, Blackberry Earl Grey, Rose White Chocolate, and Denali Postcard!
Jeremiah’s Italian Ice (Mandarin, Orange Park)
I first heard about Jeremiah’s when my local YMCA was giving out free samples. I forgot what flavor I had, but my son and I loved it! We decided to give it a try and checked out the one in Mandarin. They had a long list of different flavors, and it’s a good thing they offer free samples all day long. After our fifth tasting, I settled on the Pina Colada gelati, which is a mixture of Italian ice and ice cream twirled together for a slice of Heaven in your mouth. My son loves anything mango, so he went for that one. The best part? Jeremiah’s has kid-size gelatis just for your little ones!
Bambino Scoops Inc (Arlington)
I’m glad I decided to make the trek just to check out Bambino Scoops‘ delcious gelato! The owner is of European descent, and she makes these lovely foreign cookies, which are also for sale. After much contemplation on whether to get the Pink Guava or Watermelon, I went for the Pink Guava gelato. It was so good! Be sure to eat it right away and skip the Instagram snap if you’re going to eat outside because it will melt fast! The indoor seating is nice as well, as there is a small area for the kids to color. They also often host fun events including the occasional storytime — follow them on Facebook to stay in the loop, and be sure to leave a kind Post-It note before you head out and stick it on their wall.
Peterbrooke Chocolatier (throughout Northeast Florida)
When I think of Peterbrooke, I think of chocolate-covered popcorn and other gourmet chocolate cookies. Apparently, they recently started offering gelato, which has been a hit among mamas and kiddos alike. Way to go, Peterbrooke — my son and I truly enjoyed your pistachio-flavored gelato!
The Hyppo (Riverside)
Are popsicles even ice cream? In my vocabulary, yes — especially if they’re from Hyppo! My son refers to any popsicles he sees as “Hippo!” I have no shame that we eat these gourmet popsicles often. They are so good, and bravo to them for coming up with a kid-size popsicle made perfectly for little hands and little bellies! They only offer Chocolate, Mango, and Strawberry for the kids, but I’m sure those are enough for their tiny palate. I love all of the flavors, so I don’t have a specific favorite, but you can’t go wrong with “Elvis” if you love peanut butter, banana and honey!
Bruster’s Real Ice Cream (Oakleaf, Arlington, Mandarin)
Bruster’s Real Ice Cream may be a national chain, but I love the one near Oakleaf Plantation! The workers are so nice and cheerful every time we go. My son is currently obsessed with anything dinosaur, so their Dino ice cream was a natural fit, which just consists of a scoop of vanilla or chocolate ice cream with sprinkles and a dinosaur cookie on top.
Here are a few more ice cream shops in town to check out, and if you get here first, let me know your favorite flavor!
Chilled Flavors (Ponte Vedra): Offering something for everyone, including nut-free, gluten-free and dairy-free sweet treats.
Christy’s Dream Ice Cream (Ponte Vedra): Looking for homemade ice cream in Ponte Vedra Beach? Look no further! Check out their dairy-free/vegan flavors also: Orange Pineapple, Mint Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chocolate Chip, and Chocolate Oreo.
Cold Stone Creamery (Southside, Northside): Sometimes a yummy creamery chain just hits the sweet spot.
Cookies and Creme (Jacksonville Beach): Jacksonville Beach is just booming with new ice cream shops! Cookies and Cream specializes in making homemade cookies into ice cream sandwiches.
Doughsserts (Gate Parkway): This place is known for its frozen cookie dough desserts, but they do have ice cream available.
Dreamette (Murray Hill): Serving up dreamy ice cream at this community gem since 1948! Just don’t forget to bring cash with you.
Five Fx Ice Cream and Waffles (Southside): They make your ice cream right in front of you! While you are there, check out Taiyaki which is a Japanese fish-shaped cake with fillings. In other words, it is like a nice waffle cake with red bean paste, Nutella, custard or chocolate inside!
Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers (Southside, St Johns Town Center, Orange Park): Get your burger and frozen treat fix with this delicious retro-style chain restaurant!
Frostbite Nitrogen Ice Cream (throughout Jax): Liquid nitrogen ice cream made-to-order right in front of you. Catch this ice cream truck if you can!
Hershey’s Ice Cream (Mandarin): I think it’s the ambiance and the sweetest customer service that I love the most about this place. Their ice cream is so good too! It’s our go-to spot after shopping at Hobby Lobby.
Insonmia Cookies (Southside): Sure, it’s a cookie store, but they have ice cream! My mouth is drooling for their “cookiewiches” and guess what? It’s available for local delivery & pickup orders online & in-store.
Kilwins (St Johns Town Center): Lots of great flavors of traditional ice cream. Bonus: Not feeling a cold treat? Opt for a chocolate-covered apple or homemade fudge instead!
Le Macaron (Avondale, The Avenues Mall, St Johns Town Center): Word on the street is that they just started offering French gelatos!
Magic Sweet House-CLOSED (Riverside): A Thai ice cream roll? Japanese crepes also? Say no more!
Marble Slab Creamery (San Marco, Southside, Orange Park): Serving up fresh homemade ice cream since 1983! If you’re looking for Maggie Moo’s ice cream shop at Orange Park Mall, it is now called Marble Slab.
Ohana Hawaiian Shaved Ice (Atlantic Beach): Perhaps the best shaved-ice spot in Jax, also serving a full menu of food.
Pelican’s SnoBalls (Jacksonville Beach): This fun place serves fluffy New Orleans-style shaved ice with over 100 flavors and even more toppings! They also offer peanut-free, tree-nut-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free and egg-free options.
Rita’s Italian Ice (Southside, Jacksonville Beach): Rita’s does it right! Try out the Gelati, Italian Ice, and frozen custard layered together for a unique treat.
Smallcakes Cupcakery & Creamery (Northside): If you live in Northside, now you know where to find ice cream with chocolate-dipped waffle cones along with cakes, cupcakes, macarons and other desserts!
Sweet Pete’s Candy (Downtown): This local legend is known for its gourmet chocolate, caramel, and candy, but they also have a full-size ice cream parlor! Be sure to check out their occasional sweet classes, too.
The Icy Spot (throughout Jax): Ice cream truck serving authentic Italian ice. Be sure to check Facebook to find out where they are parked for the day.
Whit’s Frozen Custard (Avondale, Mandarin, Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, Southside): Beat the summer heat at any of their five convenient ice cream stores around town!
According to the International Dairy Foods Association, “Ice cream has historically been a key feature of American communities.” So do your part in supporting your local ice cream shop!
Where’s your go-to spot for ice cream? Comment below!